Wild Boar Management and Marketing – The Fennessey Ranch

BRIEN O’CONNOR DUNN, The Fennessey Ranch, P. O. Box 155, Bayside, Texas 78340

The Fennessey Ranch was part of a 500,000 acre tract originating 164 years ago with the Spanish Land Grant. The present ranch, located in Refugio County, consists of 4,000 acres of extremely diverse habitat including wetlands, natural lakes, meadows, forests, miles of river and associated uplands. The environmental plan developed for the Fennessey includes wetland enhancement, wildlife management and grazing program designed to maximize habitat diversity. The Fennessey Ranch was first opened to the public in 1991 and employs a full time wildlife manager.

Recreational opportunities available include birdwatching, wetland educational tours, fishing and hunting for species including white-tailed deer, dove, quail, turkey and wild boar. Year round package hunts specifically for wild boar are available or may be incorporated with hunts for other species. No more than 4 feral hog hunts are booked per month with different areas of the ranch hunted to avoid excessive hunting pressure.

The feral hog population on the Fennessey is estimated to be at least 2 acres per animal. Russian, feral and crosses are present on the ranch. Future management plans include a breeding operation in a wild setting to propagate the pure Russian hog population on the Fennessey.